There is something so perfect about spring in the South. The drab (albeit mild) days of southern winter are gone, but the sweltering days of summer have yet to arrive, so we’re left with sunny days in the low to mid 70s which are perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities. I’ve always loved being outdoors, but recently read a book about forest bathing which made me realize just how beneficial it actually is to our mental, physical, and spiritual health.
This year, I’ve been coming up with monthly bucket lists and for spring and summer, they are definitely tending to include a lot more outdoor activities! Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy the outdoors:
reading by the pool //
For the past six weeks or so, I’ve made a vow that I’ll spend at least one afternoon a week by the pool. It’s usually been on Sundays and sometimes Fridays as a treat when I finish work early. No matter the day, it feels so good to stretch out in the sun with the newest issue of Garden & Gun or whatever book I’m reading at the time.
outdoor yoga practice //
This is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world. Since the climate here is often so warm, my yoga studio does hot yoga classes just by opening the doors to the studio which is a wonderful change from the typical synthetic heat in hot yoga classes. I’ve also been to classes by the beach in the morning which is magical and just recently did practice poolside. No matter where you live, I highly suggest finding a good spot in the park, the beach, or your backyard for a vinyasa flow.
walks around the neighborhood //
I tend to do this more often when the weather is relatively cool, but taking walks around the neighborhood is one of the easiest ways to get outside any time of year. Sometimes I’ll go in the evening, sometimes in the early morning, and sometimes on my lunch break for a little refresher.
bike rides //
I come from a family that’s pretty big on cycling, so this is something I’ve been doing since I was a very little kid. In fact, when I was a toddler, my dad used to take me on rides around the neighborhood on the back of his bike to get me to fall asleep and it worked like a charm every time. I love bike rides especially in the South because it’s many times too hot for a walk, but a bike ride works because the wind makes it cooler.
walking on the beach //
This is something I don’t do as often as I’d like even though the beach is only about 15 minutes away from my house, which is crazy when you think about it. But this summer, I’m vowing to spend more time walking on the beach in the evenings or mornings instead of only going to swim or read. There’s something about walking on a beach that’s just super refreshing for the mind.
planting in the garden //
My dream in life is to have an enormous garden filled with herbs, fruits, vegetables, and flowers. I feel like I could truly spend full days just tending to one and using all of the harvests for cooking and making beauty products. For now, I have an herb garden with a couple plants. Even if you have a small outdoor space, you can still get the benefits of gardening by planting a couple herbs, flowers, and produce like kale or tomatoes that you tend to daily.